The student impact

August 29, 2022

Reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, CCSD adopted several new grading policies for teachers to implement for a more efficient transition to in-person learning. The minimum 50% policy, suspension of punishing late work and decoupling of citizenship from grades all give students room for improvement. Making summative assignments (tests and presentations) account for 90% of a student’s grade is another policy they implemented.


With students preferring to keep a 50% on a test rather than trying to make it up, this new normal in schools has had a very negative impact on the success of students. The 2022 school year policies put in place by CCSD, such as the late work, retake and minimum F rules, are significantly affecting student success. Though these policies were designed to benefit students and promote equity, some say they’ve resulted in decreased work ethic and learning.


“Personally, I don’t like it because it’s making people feel lazy and it focuses more on tests than the actual work,” junior Xyrah Tiongson said. “Some people do all the formative and somewhat hard work but do badly on tests, while others skip all the class work and homework and focus on summatives. Yet, those people who focus on summatives get a way higher grade than those who do the actual class work.”


There are a variety of students who report the new late-work policy inadvertently disincentivizes them from doing work. 


“[The late work policy] makes me procrastinate a little more because I realized ‘Oh, I can relax for a day and not do my work,’ but it’s so easy to fall behind,” junior Lillie Newton said. 


However, even though students are able to turn in work late, they still have to turn it in before the end of the quarter. 


“So I think in some aspects, it’s helpful, but I don’t think we should get five whole weeks to do an assignment that was due three days ago,” Newton said. “It creates some unneeded stress because technically we can skip on assignments but it will be more work later.”


Furthermore, the minimum F and retakes have caused less effort to be taken to do well on assignments.


“I don’t have to put in as much effort into normal school stuff unlike summative,” Tiongson said. “It doesn’t really matter anymore, because it doesn’t really affect my grade as much as a test would.”


Kids in school are able to be lazy and procrastinate through a majority of assignments which only pushes them to rush towards the end of the due date, causing more stress. 


“I do feel stressed when the deadline comes around and I’d get distracted the whole day on the deadline doing it,” Tiongson said. “Having a limited amount of time also restricts the quality of the work I do and the time I have to put into it.”


Even though retake opportunities are present, the opportunity is avoided by individuals due to not knowing if they’ll know enough to pass the second test. 


“I know some students think the minimum F and retake policy is an excuse for not studying, but  it’s still summative,” Newton said. “So if you don’t do well on the first test, yes you have a chance to take it again. But in some classes we don’t get feedback on some of the things that we did wrong. So you can’t improve if you don’t know what you did wrong. You can’t get a better score. So it’s better to just study for the first test.”


Contrarily, a multitude of students enjoy the policy potentially being that it reduces their anxiety and provides a stronger safety net.


“It gives me a leniency to do work since I’m always busy with cheerleading and athletics,” junior Taycee Brewer said. “It lets me relax with all my studies and helps me maintain my grade even though I can’t be there to care for it all the time.”


Specific students knowing that either way they wouldn’t get below an F on an assignment, is sometimes good enough for them.


“It’s nice to know I have a safety, I can sacrifice some missing assignments since I’ll get a 50% either way,” junior Jacob Struble said. “It’s like an assurance.”


It’s rare for students to undergo such a radical overhaul of their curriculum and the expectations they face. Students at SW and across the valley may adapt to the policies, though the war over these policies will likely continue for years to come.


“This policy helps me a lot because I have the ability to do better on a test and genuinely learn from it,” senior Keisha Farrales said. “There are things I just don’t comprehend in time for a test and later when I realize the mistakes I make, I finally understand why and how that concept works. Retaking test gave me the opportunity to get my grades up and achieve my goal of getting straight As.” 

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